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$1Billion funding for Paytm and IPO Plans – 26.11.2019

Paytm, the Indian unicorn in the digital wallet has secured a funding of $1Billion( Rs. 7000 cr) from the US asset manager T Row Price along with existing investors, Softbank and Ant Financials, as per the news published in, The Economic Times.

However, this funding has come up with clear instruction from investors, make the company profitable and bring IPO in the next 5 years, else they will be forced to sell their stakes to the rival company in the same business.

The Indian start-ups like Oyo, Ola, Zomato, Swiggy, Paytm, etc. were burning cash from the start and focussing on capturing market share. They stayed afloat in the market due to continuous funding from investors. In the last 4-5 years, the Indian start-ups have seen valuation going in bubble state in spite of the companies not making any profit. We can say the private equity market was in bull state. However, the failure of We Work IPO and timid performance of Uber after listing has raised the question among the investors regarding the hefty valuation these start-ups command amidst continuous losses. Now every investor who is giving funding is asking the management of these companies to focus on generating cash instead of burning. The next 3-4 years would be, make and break for these start-ups.

Coming back to Paytm, it has raised $1Billion at a hefty valuation of  $16Billion ( Rs. 1.12 lakh crores) of market cap. To put this in context how big this valuation is, TCS the old Indian IT giant has a market cap of ~7 lakh crores and Reliance Industries, has a market cap of ~9 lakh crores. The Zomato has a market cap of ~$3.5 Billion, OYO has ~$10Billion, and OLA has ~$6.2Billion.

Paytm, in the FY18-19, has made a loss of ~4000 Crores on the revenue of ~3300 Crores. The company is spending mainly on advertisements and discounts. The Paytm is facing stiff competition from Google Tej, Walmart backed Phone-Pay and Amazon Pay. However, the founder Vijay Shekhar is very much confident about the prospect of the company. He further stressed that certain businesses within Paytm, including payments and ticketing, are in the process of breaking even and hoping to make it profitable in the next couple of years.

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